Yordenis Ugas vs Manny Pacquiao
August 21, 2021 11:45 pm EDT
The Line: Manny Pacquiao -330 / Yordenis Ugas +275
(Click here for latest betting odds)
Yordenis Ugas and Manny Pacquiao fight Saturday in a boxing match at the T-Mobile Arena for the WBA (Super) welterweight title. Ugas enters this fight with a 26-4 record that includes 12 knockouts. Pacquiao enters this fight with a 62-7-2 record that includes 39 knockouts.
Ugas has won 10 of his last 11 fights, and he’s coming off a September win over Abel Ramos. Ugas is coming off a rather comfortable split decision victory and has now won three straight fights since his 2019 loss to Shawn Porter. This will be his first defense of his new belt he won 11 months ago. Ugas is a 35-year-old Cuban who stands at 5’9”, has a 69-inch reach and an orthodox stance. Ugas is a decorated boxer with olympic medals to his name and he’s been improving his pro resume the last few years. Ugas is a smooth athlete who is polished defensively and puts his punches together quite nicely on the offensive end. Ugas throws very clean combinations to the body and has a right hand that does most of his power damage. Ugas simply has to remember to stay busy and not take rounds off, which made his last bout closer than it probably should have been. This will be Ugas’ sixth career fight in Nevada.
Pacquiao has won five of his last six fights, and he’s coming off a July (2019) win over Keith Thurman. Pacquiao is coming off an incredible victory where he hurt Thurman in the later rounds and outworked him. Thurman was the more accurate puncher, but Pacquiao was busier and landed the bigger shots that titled the fight in his favor. He’ll now fight for the first time in more than two years. Pacquiao is a 42-year-old southpaw who stands at 5’5” and has a 67-inch reach. Pacquiao may not be as quick as he once was, but he still dodges punches well and his work rate hasn’t dropped a bit. Pacquiao threw 568 total punches against Adrien Broner and 571 punches against Thurman. Pacquiao is going to bring the fight to his opponent and be the aggressor from the jump. Most fighters are a shell of themselves at this stage, but Pacquiao somehow has a lot of the same tools that makes him arguably a top-10 boxer of all time. The hand speed, toughness and work rate are all there, making Pacquiao still a dangerous fighter in this division. This will be Pacquiao’s 22nd career fight in Nevada.
There’s a case to be made for Ugas here as an underdog, as he’s the younger fighter, taller and has a reach advantage. However, Pacquiao just showed that a lot of his skill set is still there, he’s the faster puncher and has a power advantage as crazy as that sounds. Pacquiao is also used to the big stage, while Ugas lacks experience in these sort of spots and lost his only other mega fight. Pacquiao should be favored and should win, and he’s going to be the aggressor from the opening round.
To lower the ML price, I’ll back Pacquiao in a finish.